Blog entry 11 July 2019
Further reflections on the performance of an academic blogger are due.... Clearly, this section has suffered from the different performance aspects that make up today's academic job - teaching, admin and research. The late spring and early summer time get completely taken over by teaching and admin, with marks to be returned to students by set deadlines, exam panels and boards to be attended, and external examiner duties at other places. I think I've performed reasonably well in the other domains, but again research and the BPA take a backseat. With the summer holidays and annual leave coming up, I need to reflect on how I intend to run this blog next year. Possibly aim for less entries, but make those that I do more profound? Review the sections of the website and information contained therein? Suggestions are welcome, feel free to drop me a line!
Blog entry 31 May 2019
Ouch, that is what happens due to overload! In the past weeks I have been busy running the book promotion contest, making a working visit to GeorgiaTech in Atlanta, and keeping a 1001 other jobs on the rails. Moreover, it is the time of the year that we have a lot of marking coming in, including a pile of dissertations that all need to be read, assessed, and moderated. So the website and the blog took a bit of a back ride. I will be trying to up the game over the coming days. Plenty of things to reflect upon, especially in terms of academic performance.
Blog entry 13 April 2019
Over the last weeks I have been quite busy, preparing and delivering classes for our MSc in High Performance Buildings as well as travelling to Berlin to deliver a talk on Building Physics for an expert panel at the TU Berlin. So I find myself in trying to find the right balance between commitments in different spheres: between teaching, admin and research; between quality, time and cost; between work and family. Academic performance is a complex thing these days, and not easily measured in one single index. For building performance analysis, I hope the book contest keeps interest up, and moves the book promotion activity forwards. Please do keep entries and suggestions coming.
Blog entry 26 March 2018
In the past weeks I have made a business trip to China, where I visited Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), Tsinghua University, and met up with my former postdoc Wei Tian. The photo of the plaque on the left was presented to me after the talk at Tsinghua. It is always good to see other places and reflect on how they see performance, and how a different context provides another perspective. My view on electric vehicles and all-electric buildings has definitely shifted during this trip.
Blog entry 8 March 2019
The 10 Questions Paper in Building and Environment as mentioned in my entry from 27 February is now available online. Elsevier provide a link to disseminate that to my own network, with the first 50 downloads for free. If anyone reading this blog is interested, you can access this via:
Blog entry 27 February 2019
Nice news: I have a new paper accepted, as follows - de Wilde, P. (2019). Ten questions concerning building performance analysis. Building and Environment, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.02.019. This paper sits in the BAE '10 Questions' initiative, which all deal with special topics within the built environment area and address the research needs in the area. Questions are proposed and answered by the author. The aim of the initiative is to provide a series of papers that are visionary and authorative, and which highlight research priority in the area. Having a '10 Questions' paper should help raise the profile of the work on building performance. As always, feedback is welcome via pieter[at]bldg-perf.org.
Blog entry 14 February 2019
I have been unable to do much on the website over the last week as I was felled by a bad backache and one of the many bugs that is doing the rounds. Taking painkillers to survive the backache, I had a look at various measurement scales for pain. Interestingly there are over 25 different pain measurement scales, for instance Behavioural Pain Scale (BPS), Dolorimeter Pain Index (DPI), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS-11) and Visual Analog Scale. It is interesting that many of these relate pain not only to the subjective experience, but also to how the pain impacts 'activities of daily life' (ADL). Looking at the experience of pain, for instance the NRS-11 equals a pain level of 0 to no pain, 1-3 to mild pain, 4-6 to moderate pain, and 7-10 to severe pain. Given what I felt, I was sure I was somewhere at the top of the scales - but then actually I was still able to undertake some of my activities of daily life (pain was interfering, but not completely disabling) so probably I was at worst at level 6. Quite a good measurement scale, even for something so personal and seemingly subjective as pain. May-be we ought to look at something similar for our built environment performance measures? A thermal comfort scale that relates to daily office abilities, or the ability to sleep at night? Not something I have seen so far?
Blog entry 01 February 2019
With the recent snow and cold snap in the UK, thermal performance comes back to the mind. It is interesting to note that I still have a pile of papers on my desk to review that emphasize the need to be energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions, yet in these days the priority seems to be wellbeing and thermal comfort. I gave a class at university in a room that has glass on three sides and which was freezing, with students keeping on their coats during the session. My colleagues at the office operate electric heaters to top up the HVAC system which leaves the office too cold. And at home I am more concerned about keeping the pipes from freezing. Which goes to show that priorities, and hence performance weighting factors, may very well change over the year. Another one to keep in mind for my next lecture on the subject!
Blog entry 19 January 2019
At the moment I am focussing on a different type of performance: student performance rather than building performance. I am slowly making my way through a pile of student research proposals that are part of the dissertation project. Like building performance has different aspects, such as thermal performance, visual performance, or financial performance, the student performance is judged on a number of criteria: literature review, aim and objectives, methodology, presentation. For marking, we are forced to aggregate all of this into a single mark for the proposal. But doing that one wonders how deep the recipients will delve into the feedback, and find out where performance was good and where there is room for improvement. The same probably is true for buildings; some stakeholders will care, and others will just take the overall verdict and move on. Which highlights the importance of some sort of "aftercare" after doing performance quantification.
Blog entry 13 January 2019
This weekend I have been tinkering with the website, modifying some of the presentation and adding further content. Doing this raises and interesting comparison between building performance and website performance. The control panel of my host presents me with SiteAnalytics, which tell me (1) number of visitors (2) number of sessions (3) number of page impressions, and then a range of figures pertaining to search robots, browsers, operating systems. But the key thing that I would like to know is missing: who is actually checking out these pages, and what do you think of it? Some comments and feedback would be welcome; please drop me line or contact me via the form on the contact page.
Updates and Changes
Happy 2019 to all visitors of BLDG-PERF.ORG!
I have noted that the website is in need from some TLC, which will be provided over the coming weeks. I have made a start with some essential maintenance, and will be working on improvements. Part of that is changning the former 'news' section to a more personal blog so that the site becomes more actual. Any suggestions for other improvements are of course welcome!
Pieter de Wilde (8 January 2019)
Book launch date and availability
Today, 10 July 2018, I received my own author copies of the book from the publisher. It is very exciting to have the final product on my desk, after all those years of hard work. I understand that those who have ordered directly from Wiley can expect the book anytime now; the release date via the major online retailers now shows as 20 July 2018. I look forward to hear from those who get a copy, both in terms of delivery as well as, of course, deeper feedback on the content of the work.
IBPSA Webinar - Building Performance Analysis: a brief book introduction
On Thursday 31 May 2018, Pieter de Wilde presented a webinar to introduce the book on Building Performance Analysis. This webinar has been recorded and can now be viewed online via the IBPSA University Channel on Youtube.
Inaugural Lecture on Building Performance Analysis, 10 May 2018 (Plymouth, UK)
On Thursday 10 May, Pieter de Wilde gave his inaugural professorial lecture. This is now available on Youtube.
The synopsis of the lecture is below:
Buildings are all around us, and are crucial to our daily life - they provide the space for living, working, shopping, relaxing and many other activities we undertake. Because of this, we often take them for granted. We have no problem to get a contractor to make major changes to our buildings, or to go to the local do-it-yourself store and intervene in buildings ourselves. Yet when studied closely, buildings are surprising complex. Most buildings are unique, bespoke products that provide a myriad of functions, are relevant to many different stakeholders, consist of a wide range of systems and technologies, have a long life span in comparison to other human-made objects and are often the subject of significant changes in the way they are used.
Building performance analysis is the domain within building science that studies how well a building and its systems provide the tasks and functions expected of that building. It covers a wide range of issues, such as energy efficiency, daylighting, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, occupant well-being and health. As modern society is strongly focussed on performance and efficiency, there is an increasing interest in building performance. Yet there are still many gaps in our knowledge on the subject.
This lecture gives an overview of the domain of building performance analysis. It explores the underlying drivers that give urgency to the study of building performance, the different approaches for quantifying building performance, and sets an agenda for teaching and research on the subject.
Forthcoming Symposium, 10 May 2018 (Plymouth, UK)
Building performance is an important aspect in building design, construction and operation. It relates to a wide range of aspects, such as energy efficiency, daylighting, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, occupant well-being and health; increasingly it features in contractual arrangements such as Energy Performance Contracts. Building performance is also changing the way buildings are designed, with building performativity becoming a new architectural paradigm.
The cutting edge of building performance is represented by High Performance Buildings: buildings that perform significantly better than their peers. This one day symposium at Plymouth University will explore this frontier of high performance buildings. Speakers will stem from both industry and academia, and will come from a wide range of backgrounds including building services engineering, building performance simulation, architecture, data analysis and interdisciplinary arts. The symposium will also be the platform for the initial book launch of the forthcoming book Building Performance Analysis by Pieter de Wilde (endorsed by IBPSA), which will become available as eBook in May and as hardcover in June. The symposium is hosted by the Department of the Built Environment at Plymouth University, in collaboration with IBPSA-England, the regional affiliate of the International Building Performance Simulation Association, and CIBSE Southwest, the local branch of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.
Delegates to the symposium will be asked a small fee of £50 to cover catering and other organisational costs. Further details, including a list of speakers once confirmed, will be published as soon as these become available.
Booking for the symposium is now available via the Plymouth University eStore at:
Visit to Çankaya University, 30 November-2 December 2017 (Ankara, Turkey)
In the week of 27 November Pieter de WIlde visited Çankaya University. This visit follows up on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Plymouth University. The visit will included an invited lecture, attendance in design studios of the local students, and discussions with academic staff. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Plymouth and Çankaya.
Building Simulation 2017, 7-9 August 2017 (San Francisco, USA)
In August, the 15th IBPSA Building Simulation conference took take place in San Francisco in the USA. The event included a presentation on "The concept of building performance in building performance simulation - a critical review", which provided a gentle introduction to the book on Building Performance Analysis. During the conference Pieter de Wilde was made a Fellow of IBPSA (FIBPSA). Moreover, the paper “A Method for Automated Generation of HVAC Distribution Subsystems for Building Energy Performance Simulation” by Aurelien Bres, Florian Judex, Georg Suter and Pieter De Wilde (based on the PhD work of Aurelien Bres at TU Vienna) was awarded the Best Paper Award at conference, winning in a field with well over 300 papers and more than 750 participants from 44 nationalities.
EG-ICE Workshop, 10-12 July 2017 (Nottingham, UK)
In July, Pieter de Wilde attended the annual workshop of EG-ICE in Nottingham. This is a small-scale, high-quality single track event that promotes discussion and exchange of ideas in the broad area of computing and engineering. Topics include areas such as architectural design, structural analysis, building performance analysis, resilience, geometric and parametric modelling, computer vision, machine learning, spatial reasoning, data sensing, optimization and process modelling. Preparations are now starting for the next workshop, which will take place at EPFL in Lausanne from 10 to 13 July 2018 - see the homepage for EG-ICE 2018.